Going through a divorce is rarely easy. For most people, it is a time of heightened emotions, confusion, and frustration. Along with handling the emotional impact of the divorce, it suddenly becomes necessary to navigate a legal system with which you are not familiar. That alone can be a daunting, and often intimidating, prospect. If you find yourself facing a divorce, the most important step you can take to protect yourself and your rights is to retain the services of an experienced Murfreesboro divorce lawyer. In the meantime, the following Tennessee divorce FAQs and answers may be helpful.
- How long do I need to live in Tennessee before I can file for divorce in the state? To file for divorce in Tennessee, either the plaintiff or the defendant must have resided in Tennessee for six months preceding the filing of the Complaint for Divorce.
- Does Tennessee have a waiting period? As long as you meet the residency requirements, you can file for divorce at any time in Tennessee.
- Can I move out of the state before the divorce is final? As long as Tennessee had proper jurisdiction at the time the Complaint for Divorce was filed, Tennessee will maintain jurisdiction even if both spouses move from the state.
- What are the grounds for divorce in Tennessee? Like many states, Tennessee now allows both no-fault and fault divorces. If both spouses agree they can file an uncontested divorce using “irreconcilable differences” as the grounds for the divorce. You also have the option to file using one of the following fault grounds:
- Habitual drunkenness or abuse of narcotic drugs;
- Living apart for two years with no minor children;
- Inappropriate marital conduct;
- Willful or malicious desertion for one full year without a reasonable cause;
- Conviction of a felony;
- Pregnancy of the wife by another before the marriage without the husband’s knowledge;
- Refusal to move to Tennessee with your spouse and living apart for two years;
- Malicious attempt upon the life of another;
- Lack of reconciliation for two years after the entry of a decree of separate maintenance;
- Impotency and sterility;
- Bigamy; and
- Abandonment or refusal or neglecting to provide for spouse although able to do so.
- Do I really need to hire an attorney or can I just represent myself? There is no legal requirement that you hire an attorney; however, if your divorce is likely to be contested you will be at a distinct disadvantage if you are not represented by an experienced Tennessee divorce attorney.
- How long will the divorce process take? If you have minor children your divorce cannot be finalized for at least 90 days after the Complaint for Divorce is filed. Beyond that requirement, a number of factors will influence how long it takes to finalize your divorce, including whether the parties are amicable or contentious toward each other and the process in general.
- Does my spouse have to agree to the divorce? Your spouse is not required to agree; however, if he/she doesn’t agree you will have to allege, and ultimately prove, fault grounds.
- Can I get spousal support (alimony)? Tennessee does recognize several different types of spousal support. The court will consider a long list of factors in determining if you are entitled to spousal support and, if so, which type and for what duration.
- What is a Parenting Plan? If there are minor children of the marriage, all issues related to the children must be resolved before the divorce can be finalized. A Parenting Plan reflecting those terms and agreements must also be filed with the court. If the parties cannot agree on issues related to the children, the court will ultimately have to decide.
- Will I have to go to court? If both spouses agree to the terms of the divorce, only one party will need to appear for the final hearing. If the divorce is contested, you may need to appear in court on several different occasions.
Contact a Murfreesboro Divorce Lawyer
If you are contemplating divorce in Tennessee, it is important that you consult with an experienced Murfreesboro divorce lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the divorce process. Contact the team at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby as soon as possible by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.